Meet Tracy: A Court Captioner Turned Superstar Advocate for Communication Access

In the world of communication access, Tracy stands out as a shining example of dedication, passion, and expertise. With a career spanning over three decades, Tracy has not only mastered the art of court captioning but has also emerged as a prominent advocate for inclusive communication. As we celebrate Captioning Week, it’s only fitting to shine a spotlight on Tracy’s remarkable journey and invaluable contributions to the field. 

In this exclusive interview, Tracy shares her insights, experiences, and the joys and challenges of being a captioner. Join us as we delve into Tracy’s inspiring journey, highlighting her unwavering dedication to ensuring that everyone has equal access to information and communication. Get ready to be inspired by Tracy’s passion, resilience, and unwavering commitment to making the world a more inclusive place, one word at a time. 


  1. What inspired you to become a captioner, and how did you get started in this field?  
    I love writing/language and have good dexterity from playing piano, so being a stenographer seemed a good fit for a career.  I trained as a court reporter, and six months in (30 years ago), I was asked to provide CART and fell in love with providing communication access.  I was one of the first to provide CART in Rhode Island and made the transition quickly to providing CART only.  It gave me a sense of contributing to society, doing the thing I loved…writing.


  2. Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your time as a captioner that really impacted you?  
    I can recount many times when at the end of an event, meeting or appointment, I’m brought aside and given a hearty thank you, and sometimes a hug for helping facilitate communication access.  I also have heard many motivational speakers at independent living conferences that have changed my life.  It’s been a gift to meet so many people who, despite their challenges, excel in life.  It’s been an honor and pleasure to help with communication access at these events.


  3. What do you find most rewarding about your work as a captioner?  
    I love watching people reading the screen, including those who have not asked for the service but are benefiting as well.  I love all the different venues and people I get to meet, as well as a variety of topics.  I have a little knowledge of a lot of different subjects and learn something new every day.


  4. What challenges have you faced as a captioner, and how have you overcome them?  
    I tend to work quite a bit, especially in the busy season.  I try to take some days/time off, but it’s always a challenge because I love what I do that much.  The speed of some speakers and accents can be challenging, but I have learned over the years to breathe, relax and get everything I can cleanly.


  5. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing a career in captioning? 
    If you have good dexterity and are good in grammar, and also like providing a social service, this is a very rewarding career.  If you start school in stenography, like a pianist doing scales, do all your beginning exercises more than you’re asked to, especially your alphabets. It provides a sturdy foundation on which to build yourself upon.   

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